Federal Funding for Grid Enhancing Technologies

Up-to-date summary on the federal investments specifically in the grid enhancing capabilities for both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law spending package (also known as the IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Planning Together to Optimize Federal Grid Investments

Grid Forward is bringing together our membership and other regional stakeholders to collaborate on how to access the significant resources coming from Federal action to invest in grid infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Energy has seen an influx of resources and capabilities unrivaled since its creation in the 1970s. If you are interested in dialogues on how to organize around any of the following topics please let us know by completing the short form below.

If you have other questions about the potential for significant grid modernization investment (from the reconciliation package or the infrastructure bill) contact Bryce Yonker, Grid Forward executive director.

Grid Enhancing Investment Areas in the Infrastructure Bill (IIJA)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The infusion of about $1.2 trillion in core capabilities that run our society is unlike any the country has mobilized in decades. Here are more resources for learning about its grid impact.


Focus Area: Grid Resiliency and Innovation Partnership (GRIP)

The Grid Resiliency and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) administers up to $10.5 billion for grid resiliency and grid flexibility. The GRIP Program consists of 3 funding opportunities:

  • 40101(c,d): Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants ($2.5B). This is both a competitive program and a formula grant opportunity (40101d) for states and tribes. 
  • 40107: Smart Grid Grants ($3B)
  • 40103(b): Grid Innovation Program ($5B)

In November 2022 the Grid Deployment Office released a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the first round of the Grid Resiliency and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) Program. This first round will deploy up to $3.8B across all 3 programs. 

40101(d): Formula Grants to States & Indian Tribes

40101(c): Grid Resiliency Utility and Industry Grants (Topic Area 1)

40107: Smart Grid Grants (Topic Area 2)

40103(b): Grid Innovation program (Topic Area 3)

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act created the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program which was one of the core energy efforts of the ARRA from 2008-2013. The Infrastructure Act rekindles this program with $3 billion and expands the eligible areas.

Grid Forward surveyed its members and offered suggestions to DOE advisory leadership on the priority areas for grid flexibility resources. We also have created a summary of grid modernization investment lesson from ARRA. If you would like to see the results of the survey and briefing check in with Bryce.

Focus Area: Cybersecurity 

A whole sub-title of the energy title on the infrastructure act (Section 40121-40127) is devoted to expanding cyber security capabilities and resources. 

  • DE-FOA-0002986: Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical (RMUC) Program under Section 40124
  • DE-FOA-0003223: 40125B Cybersecurity for Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D)
  • DE-FOA-0003217: All Hazards Energy Resilience for up to $70M to Strengthen Against Various hazards including cyber and physical threats, climate and natural disasters, and extreme weather events.
  • September 2022: the Department of Homeland Security issued a notice of funding opportunity for a formula based state and local cybersecurity grant program FY 22.
  • October 2022: the office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response released a Request for Information due December 19, 2022 for the Improving Cybersecurity Posture of Rural and Municipal Utilities (RMUC) Program (40124)
  • February 2023 : the Department of Homeland security issued a notice of funding opportunity for the Homeland Security Grant Program FY 2023

Focus Area: Other Grid Enhancements 

The Infrastructure Act has numerous additional areas to support capabilities of the grid. 

Long Duration Storage (401001)

Clean Hydrogen Hubs (40314)

DE-FOA-0003126: Wholesale Electricity Market Studies and Engagement

USDA Empowering Rural America (New ERA)

  • Applications for up to $9.7B were due in September 2023
  • Awards are expected in early 2024

Transmission Facilitation Program (40106)

  • November 18, 2022: a request for proposal for capacity contracts was issued for capacity contracts under the Transmission Facilitation program.
    • Sec 40106 – $2.5 billion for transmission facilitation
    • Sec 40109 – $500 million for state collaboration on transmission siting
  • February 6, 2024: DOE announced the second round of the Transmission Facilitation Program, a $2.5 billion revolving fund that helps overcome financial hurdles facing large-scale new and upgraded transmission lines. Through the RFP, DOE anticipates deploying up to $1.2 billion in federal support to accelerate transmission buildout through capacity contracts, an innovative approach that increases the confidence of investors and potential customers while reducing risk for projects. 
    • In response to industry comments, the application and review process for the RFP is split into two parts to help better manage the administrative burden on applicants. The submission deadline for Part 1 of the application is March 11, 2024. A public webinar to provide additional information will be held at 3 p.m. Eastern time on February 21, 2024. Registration is required.

Funding Opportunities & Updates

Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C) program

One of several MESC programs. This critical tax credit will help advance domestic clean energy manufacturing and spur job creation and economic growth in our nation’s energy communities and beyond. Additional resources and information about the 48C program, including FAQsinitial guidancedesignated energy communities map, webinar recordings and more, can be accessed here. An overview slide deck is also available.

Electric Vehicle Charging

  • January 2024: Office of Energy and Transportation announced over $46M in grants to 30 projects advancing EV charging reliability and workforce development.

Focus Area: Energy Innovation Deployments

The Act is sprinkled with resources for demonstrations and deployments of innovative energy resources from energy storage, hydrogen, carbon capture, nuclear and other assets. 

We do not plan to have discussions in all of these areas, but are happy to help facilitate interest in any of them. 

  • Sec. 40207 – $6 billion for storage supply chain and 2nd use deployments
  • Sec. 41001 – $505 million Storage and long duration demos
  • Sec. 41006-7 – $360 million Marine, geothermal, wind and solar demos
  • Sec. 40304, 40305, 40308 and others – $8 billion CCUS demos and deployment (and $3B in 41001 pilots and demos)
  • Sec. 40314 – $8 billion Hydrogen hubs
  • Sec. 40323 – $6 billion Nuclear credit program (and $3+ billion advanced reactor demos in 41001)
  • Sec. 40331-3 – $750 million Hydro asset improvement
  • Sec. 40502 – $250 million State loans for efficiency & Sec. 40552 brings $550 million for state EE block grants
  • Sec. 40511 – $225 million updated building codes & 40541 another $500 million EE and RE on schools
  • Sec. 40551 – $3.5 billion for weatherization assistance
  • Sec. 50555 – $10 million for efficient transformers

Grid Enhancing Investment Areas in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

The Inflation Reduction Act includes an unprecedented amount of funding specifically for rural energy co-ops and clean energy in rural communities. This opportunity represents the single largest investment in rural electrification since the 1930s.

Grid Forward is closely tracking this opportunity to help your cooperative utility or clean power provider make use of these funds.

U.S. Treasury has new direct pay incentives for more utilities to access in support of renewable, storage, microgrid and other projects.

One key elements of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was the introduction of tax credits that apply to clean energy investments. Included in the package are direct pay incentives for organizations that previously would not have been able to leverage the benefits since they did not have any tax liabilities.

Direct pay incentives for renewable energy, storage, microgrid controls and other advanced grid aspects will be available to non-for-profit utilities and organizations. These incentives may be eligible to use in conjunction with other programs for clean energy and advance grid efforts. You can view a recent webinar the Grid Forward and NWPPA hosted with the Department of Treasury here

USDA has allocated $9.7B from the New Era program, section 22004 of the Inflation Reduction Act to support cooperative utilities in bringing lower carbon energy resources onto their systems.

Last month, Grid Forward and NWPPA hosted a webinar with the USDA to learn about the $9.7B from the New Era program, section 22004 of the Inflation Reduction Act to support cooperative utilities in bringing lower carbon energy resources onto their systems. Listen in as we go through the details with these officials at the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service.

Watch the recording here.

Resources and Discussions on Regional Priorities

Grid Forward is organizing members of our community to help create connections that can lead to teams tapping into the funds being released by the Act. We are focused on grid resiliency, grid flexibility (via the Smart Grid Investment Grants) and cybersecurity. There are other energy innovation deployments we can help coordinate (such as long duration storage) with interest from the community. If you’d like to join in peer groups to explore the possibilities, please use the form below. We will put you in contact with group leaders for more information